Monday, September 16, 2013
Giant Hibiscus, Great Pens, and Polygonum
One of my favorite late summer surprises appeared today in our weedy back garden-- the hibiscus has been quietly growing all summer back behind the overgrowth of black-eyes Susans, and today two of its dinner-plate-sized blossoms opened! Happily, there are about six or eight flower buds along with the two blooms that opened today, so we should have this magenta beauty for a couple of weeks. This is the twelfth year it has shown up, and we do absolutely nothing to it except lop it down when it dies back after frost. Best of all, we can see it from the back porch.
Another very welcome arrival today was a box of a dozen of my new favorite drawing pens, the Pilot V-5 Techpoint black pen. I bought a few of these in Paris at an office supply store on the Left Bank, and they've turned out to be a perfect replacement for my old favorite, the Pilot V-Ball waterproof black pen, which is no longer easily available and which has become unreliable and sometimes even leaky, thanks to tinkering with the recipe by the people at Pilot. The only problem with the new V-5 is that you can't buy it in the US. After searching at Staples and other office supply stores, I gave up and searched on line. I found a few places that carry them, but all of them were out of the US. Why won't Pilot market these pens in the US? I ended up ordering a box of them from the UK and had to pay L10 shipping, which comes to around $17, making the dozen pens cost around $60.
Well, they are wonderful pens, and they seem to last a long time. Of the four I bought last May I still have two. Now I have 12 more! I'll be a lot more careful with these than I was with the original batch. The company also sent me a free ergonomic large-point ballpoint pen for free. I did a drawing of its svelt body with the pinched in waist and snappy cap. Unfortunately I never draw in ballpoint, so I'll pass this on to Maya, who has a love for pens.
And for a final drawing today, I picked a polygonum from the woods while we were walking late this afternoon. I know this is considered a major pest by gardeners, but I like the plant. I remembered its name from a long-ago botany course, and I remembered that its familiar name is "many knees" because of its knobby, knee-like joints from which the leaves spring. Along with the leaves are very thin almost clear hairs, which my research tells me will develop into root systems wherever they touch the ground. The flowers are tiny, changing from dark pink buds to pale pinkish-white blossoms as they mature. A field of them looks very pretty at this dry, earth-toned beginning of fall.